- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican lawmakers are calling on Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to arm the state National Guard after a recent attack on two Tennessee military facilities left five soldiers dead.

Governors of at least six other states have ordered that their state National Guardsmen be armed since the shootings at a recruiting center and a Marine-Navy reserve facility in Chattanooga last week. Four Marines and one Navy sailor were killed, prompting the Republican governors of Texas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma to make the change.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said Monday that the office won’t comment on “continued security procedures.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott also relocated recruiters to armories until state officials can evaluate and make security improvements in light of the shootings.

Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican running for secretary of state in 2016, said in a statement issued Monday that soldiers “risk their lives every day.”

“They should at least be able to defend themselves and their families on American soil,” said Kraus, who is a member of the Missouri National Guard and has a concealed carry permit.

Senate Republican leaders made a similar request last week.

Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, and gubernatorial candidates Sen. Mike Parson, of Bolivar, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder on Monday also asked Nixon to order flags lowered to half-staff, a move Brown said typically is reserved to mourn the deaths of Missouri soldiers but that he said is fitting at this time.

The gunman, 24-year-old Kuwait-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was killed by police. Authorities have not released a motive, and an investigation is ongoing.

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